Phoenix, Ariz., Dec 30, 2019 / 03:13 am
Women leaving prison can face numerous challenges – from finding housing and employment despite a criminal record to repairing relationships with family members and friends.
At one women’s home in Flagstaff, Arizona, former inmates receive help getting back on their feet. The home, run by Catholic Charities, has seen so much success in its first few years that it is now planning to expand.
Since it opened in 2016, the Juniper House has helped some 55 women re-enter society after leaving jail – with a sober environment, manageable rent, and the resources to get their lives on track.
The Juniper House began through a partnership developed between Catholic Charities and the local authorities.
Sandi Flores, Catholic Charities Community Services’ senior programs director for the northern offices, said the project works with the woman who have gone through Exodus, a sobriety program completed during incarceration.
“[It began with] some interest from the local sheriff department and jail folk, who were looking for an alternative for women who were exiting the substance abuse program that was offered at the jail. So we collaborated with them.”
Since women will exit the Exodus program at different times, the Juniper House staff consistently conducts interviews at the jail once a month. The house only holds eight women at a time, so there is a growing wait list.
Women going through the program will set goals, like focusing on jobs, completing their education, or reuniting with family members.